Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm a Game Behind, and an Awkward Moment

Do to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to post yesterday, and thus we now have the same effect we used to have in the Pre-Internet Era, when it was possible to look in the newspaper for the previous night's score, and you remember the Yankees are on the West Coast, and instead of looking at the list of yesterday's scores and seeing...

Yankees 5, Oakland 4

...you see...

Yankees at Oakland, n.

Personally, I think the West Coast Score Effect is the reason the Internet was created.

Well, that, and men would rather look at naked women in the privacy of their own home rather than go out to a store and be seen buying X-rated movies.

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So I'm a game behind.  Including 1 in the All-Important Loss Column.  (See what I did there?)

The Yankees did not play yesterday, so their last game was Wednesday night, the finale of their 3-game set in Baltimore against the Orioles.

Hiroki Kuroda started, but he didn't last long.  In the bottom of the 2nd inning, he was hit on the calf by a line drive from Manny Machado.  Even before that, he allowed home runs to Nick Markakis (who usually hits well against the Yankees) and Chris Davis, plus a double to Matt Wieters before getting out of the 1st inning.

The liner from Machado came in the 2nd.  Kuroda got 2 batters into the 3rd inning, a double by Adam Jones and a single by Davis, before Joe Girardi decided he'd seen enough, and that he didn't want to risk Kuroda any further.  He pitched 2 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits.  (But no walks, so his control wasn't the issue.  He falls to 6-3.)

This was the right move: With Kuroda having been the club's most consistent starter since April 2012, we can't afford to lose him for an extended period.  With all the injuries coming into this season, and since it started, we've been lucky that the only pitcher added to that list has been Ivan Nova, who wasn't getting the job done anyway, and that David Phelps has stepped into Nova's spot in the rotation and done well.

Preston Claiborne, for the first time in his major league career, gave up a 3-run homer to Wieters.  Since Kuroda had let the first 2 runners on, only the last run was charged to Claiborne.  He pitched 2 innings, and his career ERA went from 0.00 to 0.82.  But he still hasn't walked a batter.  Adam Warren pitched the last 4 innings, giving up 5 hits, but no walks, and no runs.

Curtis Granderson has come back hard from the Disabled List.  He went 3-for-3 with a solo homer, a double and a walk.  But the rest of the Yankees combined only got 4 hits: A homer by David Adams, and singles by Robinson Cano, Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki.  Jason Hammel (6-2) pretty much handcuffed the Yankees otherwise.

Orioles 6, Yankees 3.

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Kuroda is expected to be fine, and make his next start.  In further good injury news, Mark Teixeira seems to be making progress.  Michael Pineda, who still hasn't thrown an official pitch for the Yankees, went 5 innings in an "extended spring training" game.  He will have one more such session, and will then begin minor-league rehab.  We could see him on the mound in The Bronx (or on the road) in mid-June.

Tomrrow night, English soccer teams Chelsea and Manchester City will play each other at Yankee Stadium. I will not be going.  Those same teams played last night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and Chelsea blew a 3-0 2nd half lead and lost 4-3.  It's just a "preseason friendly" (or postseason, depending on how you look at it), so it's not as embarrassing as it would have been had it been a Premier League game or an FA Cup tie.

The Yankees and Man City (which, I must admit, sounds like the name of a West Village bar, if ya know what I mean) have teamed up to form New York City Football Club (NYC FC), which will begin play in Major League Soccer in 2015, playing at least their first season in Yankee Stadium, before a new stadium can open.

This throws a monkey wrench into the plans of both the New York Red Bulls, who will now have competition for the Tri-State Area's soccer-fan dollar; and the revived version of the New York Cosmos, who are now stuck on the outside looking in, with the name of the greatest team in the history of U.S.-based soccer and no place in MLS.  (They are currently in the North American Soccer League, another revived name, but, effectively, North America's 2nd division.)

However, these 2 sports franchises known for their free-spending ways will be at a disadvantage, as MLS has something neither Major League Baseball nor the Premier League has: A salary cap.  True, it's a "soft cap," meaning up to 3 "designated players" can make whatever you think you can afford to pay them; but you can't buy the title in MLS, the way Man City did in 2012, and Chelsea did in 2005, '06 and '10.

(As opposed to the way Manchester United bought the title in 1993, '94, '96, '97, '99, 2000, '01, '03, '07, '08, '09, '11 and '13: Bribing and intimidating the officials.)

The Red Bulls, as an organization if not always as a competitive team, have been good to me.  So, in the spring of 2015, when "Metro" and NYC FC first play each other in The Bronx, for the first time ever, we will have...

The Awkward Moment when I walk into Yankee Stadium and boo the home team.

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